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If you can’t afford to pay for a new bathroom in full upfront, then you’re certainly not alone! Thankfully, most bathroom retailers offer a number of flexible finance deals to help you spread the cost. While many people don’t hesitate to shop around when it comes to finding the best price for their bathroom, we recommend you also take a good look at the finance plans available as these can make all the difference to your final decision. The finance deals available can generally be broken down into three types: interest-free credit, “buy now, pay later,” or a standard interest-bearing loan with a fixed rate interest.

Read on below to find out what each plan offers to help you decide which is best for you or click on the links here to look at the current range of finance deals available.

Interest Free

An ‘interest free agreement’ is exactly that, an agreement where you don’t pay any interest at all, the value of the balance borrowed is divided by the number of payments or period in question, such as 6, 12, 24, 36 or even sometimes 48 months, similar to a mobile phone contract. Sometimes you have to pay a deposit which can be as little as £10 or as much as 20% of the value of the kitchen. From time to time, some retailers offer interest free credit agreements with no deposit, which are obviously very attractive if you have don't have much spare cash to put down on a kitchen. Interest Free Agreements are a popular option as you can budget for a set amount each month to make the payments more manageable.

Buy Now Pay Later

Also known as a deferred interest agreement, this tends to be the plan that causes the most confusion. With this type of plan, you tend not to start making payments for a set period, for example 12 months. Look for phrases such as “take a 12-month payment holiday” or “Buy now, pay 2021". More often than not, there will be a minimum spend required to qualify for this type of agreement, which can start as low as £250, but can be as high as £3,000. Once the initial period is up, you can pay the loan off without any interest charges (normally just a small settlement fee of around £25 is required.)

The most common problem is when consumers forget to make the final payment by the required date. Once you miss the deadline, interest will be charged back to the very first day of the loan, which can end up being very expensive. Very surprisingly, retailers aren’t legally obliged to let you know when your interest-free period is almost up so this is a very easy mistake to make. If you’re going down the 'Buy now, pay later' route, make sure you are clear from the start what the plan includes and the date for final repayment. It's also worth looking into the interest rate (the APR or Annual Percentage Rate) that will be charged by the retailer if you don't make the final payment on the specified date, which can vary between 6.9% and 8.9%.

Interest Bearing Loan

Another option to look at is a fixed-rate interest loan. Here, a standard loan is offered by the retailer over a set period such as 3 to 5 years with the interest fixed for the duration. We check the finance deals on offer from the top UK retailers on a daily basis, including B&Q, Homebase and Wickes, so you don’t have to. You can find the most up-to-date details of each retailer’s finance plans on our website including interest rates, required deposits and repayment terms so you can secure the best deal to suit your needs.

Combination Deal

At peak times of the year, you sometimes find that retailers offer a combination deal, a finance offer that takes the best of the agreements described above. This can sometimes come in the form of an Interest Free agreement with a low or a zero deposit and a 'Buy now, pay later' element. This means you don't have to pay anything for the first 6 or 12 months, following which you start paying off the interest free agreement, for the agreed period on a monthly basis. These are understandably very attractive offers and are not widely available, so keep your eyes open for these.